Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuesday Throw Down 08 02 2011

'For the Emperor!'
Quite a few turned out for the Tuesday Throw-Down at Olympic Cards and Comics- the place was packed! I brought a 2,000 point list similar to my list from the previous week with the following changes:

  •      Mephiston
  • (1) Furioso Dreadnought with Blood Talons
  • (2) Sanguinary Priest with Lightning Claw
  • (2) Assault Squad 9 marines; melta gun x2, Sgt. with Power Fist
  • (2) Assault Squad 4 marines; melta gun x1, Sgt. with Infernus Pistol, Razorback with Twin-Linked (TL) Heavy Flamer
  • (1) Assault Squad 4 marines; melta gun x1, Sgt. with Infernus Pistol
  • (2) Land Speeder with Multi-Melta
  • (2) Predator Tanks with Autocannon, Las-Cannon sponsons
  • (1) Storm Raven with Multi-Melta, Extra Armor
 I dropped a Razorback in favor of an additional Land Speeder with Multi-Melta. As I suspected, speeders draw a lot of fire, and are capable of ample mischief in an enemy's back forty.

My first game of the night pitted me against Shawn's Deathwing army. Burgeoning with relentless hammer and shield Terminators, a bike squad with locator beacons, Belial and Ezekial. 2,000 points of lumbering death, the same Deathwing that had destroyed my Blood Angels the last time I played Shawn. Our game was 'Seize Ground' with four objectives and our deployment was 'Spearhead'. I took first turn and decided to place all but one 5-man assault squad with jump packs on the board. One of my 10-man Assault Squad(s) rolled thirsty (Red Thirst). Shawn started with his bikes on the board opposite of his placed objective markers.

Objective(s) 1 and 2.
As I mentioned previously, my last game against Shawn didn't fair so well. I was determined this time around to focus-fire on a unit, torrent it down, then move on to a subsequent unit. With that in mind, I moved everything up and out. Shawn mentioned to me that his bike squad had locator beacons, which would allow his Terminator squads to enter the game without the chance for scatter. In my round of shooting I may have picked two or three off, leaving the fearless squad largely intact.
Then came my first shocker! Shawn rolled for each of his Terminator squads to see who was entering the game first turn.
I wish he had snapped a picture of my facial expression clearly demonstrating my ignorance of Death Wing rules with regard to deep striking first turn! I did not feign ignorance, as our first game played together had been Dawn of War with the 'ever popular' first turn deployment restriction(s).
three of his five Terminator squads teleported onto the battlefield without incident, their cyclone missile launchers hurling winged death at my forces.

Objective(s) 3 and 4
 Turn two my 5-man assault squad arrived on the table, near Shawn's board edge. I was able to remove one Terminator squad with a combination of shooting and my Furioso Dreadnought, while Mephiston waded through Shawn's biker squad with minimal effort- depriving the rest of his reserves locator beacons'. Shawn returned the favor in kind at the bottom of two. He successfully teleported a 5-man Terminator squad along my board edge in range of the Relic Armor objective marker, and in his shooting phase managed to silence one of my Predators' for a turn . Belial and his squad (which contained an apothecary and chapter banner), scattered 5-7 inches- landing about 11 inches away from my subsequent 10-man assault squad holding mid-board. Another 5-man squad successfully assaulted my thirsty 10-man assault squad avenging their brethren in a vicious slaughter. Amazingly, my sergeant proved to be my MVP of the game when he rolled 'snake eyes' for his morale check- insane heroism! In the midst of fierce Dark Angel Terminator marines, he balked, refusing to let the death of his men go unchallenged or unpunished. That sergeant would follow his men into the abyss in my subsequent turn, shouting his Primarch's name in a fearless but futile assault against the hardened veteran unit. Mephiston met his demise as he was assaulted by five angry Terminators. His removal from the game would prove challenging for the rest of his Blood Angel forces.

In the top of three my Furioso avenged Mephiston's death, finishing off the Terminator squad in assault. With little threat possible from the Terminator squad closest to Shawn's board edge, my Furioso consolidated five inches choosing to face my board edge- in an attempt to deny Shawn's Terminators' a rear armor missile target. Then I made the mistake of moving my 10-man squad up, toward Belial's squad. I had figured (prematurely) that if I didn't Belial would assault me instead. being in chalice range of a priest, and wanting the charge bonus, I pushed my 10-man squad into Belial, while my 5-man assault squad pressed from the opposite side. I had hoped that 15 assault marines (10 of which received Furious Charge and Feel No Pain) would be enough to ruin Shawn's Terminators, and possibly even dent Belial. I was wrong; my 10-man squad would fold, hanging on for two assault rounds. In the melee I would eventually destroy the members of the Terminator squad, however, Belial proved too tough a nut to crack. Having it to do over again, I would have simply moved my 10-man squad back into cover and let Belial and squad come to them. It may have sacrificed a round of shooting, but I would have recovered that in the following turn.

Ezekial would enter the game at the bottom of turn 3-  Ezekial on the other hand, managed to sandwich his drop pod between difficult terrain and my Storm Raven (very impressive). Escorted by a command squad with two flamers, Ezekial proceeded to use his psyker ability to destroy my Furioso. With a strength 10 template attack, Ezekial scored a punishing rear armor shot on my Furioso that would wreck him and remove the old veteran from the game.This would prove a costly mistake for Shawn (in my opinion) as he could have instead targeted my 5-man assault squad all crammed together standing adjacent to my Furioso. his three template attacks, one of which being strength 10 and, I think, AP3 would have wrecked that unit! Later, this 5-man assault squad would move on to hold the Astarte's Remains objective on my board edge (with the potential of holding the Relic Armor objective located at my board edge, as a mere 12 inches separated one objective from the other).

It was at this time that Six-Deucer checked in with us. Looking at the board he asked me if I was playing for a tie, to which I absently answered, 'perhaps'. Six's question snapped me out of my revelry- the slug-fest that the game had fallen into. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the bloodshed and violence- the fun stuff at the expense of a particular game's mission objective(s)... Focused, I corrected a few tactical errors that, with a little luck, would ensure a tie and perhaps land me a win.

First, at the top of turn four, I embarked the 5-man assault squad (adjacent to Ezekiel) into a Razorback, then moved flat out toward my board edge. That would place the unit within reach of the Relic Armor and Astarte's Remains objective markers' at the top of five. Next, I moved my second 5-man assault squad, still nestled in their Razorback, along the left-most board edge. This would place it in a position to zoom across and contest the Weapon and Ammunition objective, or, the Communications' Relay objective. During my shooting phase, I was able to whittle down the 4-man Terminator squad located at the Communications Relay down to two marines. I moved both of my Landspeeders toward my board edge to lend fire support and to better contest the Ammunition and Communications' objective(s) at the top of five. In my assault phase, Belial broke my assault marines and left one sergeant routed. That sergeant would flee 15 inches, in the process survive a dangerous terrain test while falling back toward my board edge. Much to Shawn's detriment (and my shock) it provided me a second troop choice to hold the Relic Armor objective marker.

At this point I was confident that I could claim, and hold, both the Relic Armor and the Astartes Remains while contesting the Ammunition objective. I looked to my ranged units to wreak more casualties against Shawn's Terminator marines.

Turn five proved fruitless in shooting; my Storm Raven, immobilized, was still able to target and shoot at Shawn's two Terminators holding the Communications Relay. My Predators' may have killed one of the five Terminators holding the Weapons and Ammunition objective. I pushed my Landspeeders closer to that objective marker, as well as my Razorback filled with troops and priest. The lone surviving sergeant from the Belial encounter managed to regroup and take the Relic Armor objective, licking his wounds after such a demoralizing defeat. Shawn assaulted my Razorback with his 5-man terminator squad at the Weapons and Ammunition objective, wrecking the transport and forcing my troops to pile out. Fortunately, I was able to pile out with what I believed would be within 3 inches of the objective. If I was right, then that unit would have successfully contested the Ammunition dump at the bottom of turn five, and potentially win me the game should it end...

So, at the bottom of turn five I held two objectives (the Relic Armor, and the Astarte's Remains), while Shawn controlled the Communications Relay. Finally, I may have contested the Weapons and Ammunition depot where Shawn's second unit of Terminators sat. We rolled the dice to determine if the game would continue and generated a six! The game would see another round!

At the top of turn six, I did something edgy- I moved my assault troops contesting the Weapons and Ammunition objective just out of contesting range. This was probably silly, but I wanted to give both of my Predator tanks' a clear shot at Shawn's Terminators located at the Ammunition depot. In the event I couldn't shoot the unit off the board, I would run my assault squad toward the objective (and would have to roll at least 2 in order to succeed). My round of shooting in turn six proved fortuitous; my Stormraven managed to kill the two remaining Terminator marines holding the Communications Relay objective. My Landspeeders and Predator tanks managed to destroy the rest of Shawn's Terminators located at the Weapons and Ammunition objective. Shawn conceded and I thanked him for a very intense and fun game.

I was aware of a number of mistakes that I made during this game. I engaged my troops, unecessarily into close combat with Terminators. In the future, I will look for opportunities to kite Terminator units, baiting them into chasing my jump-pack marines. I should have attempted to keep my reserved unit in reserves longer than turn two. When that unit arrived, it really didn't do much other than shoot at Shawn's bike squad. Later, that unit wrapped Belial in a two-pronged assault and eventually lost.
I think Shawn should have finished off my transports when he had the opportunity. That would have denied my two 5-man squads the mobility that allowed them to take and contest objectives. Like mentioned above, he had the opportunity to wipe out a 5-man assault squad that eventually held one objective (and could have held the second if necessary) with Ezekial. I think he should have annihilated that unit, rather than targeting my Furioso Dreadnought.  Shawn got really unlucky when my jump-pack sergeant escaped from Belial. That allowed me another troop choice to take/hold objective(s).


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